Chung Joo Hyun's Surface Series

Dec 26, 2012
Author: Yoo Jae Kil (Professor, Hongik Univ., Art Criticism)
Photos: Chung joo hyun
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Car designer Chung joo hyun's Surface Series is a continuity of pure sculpting. The Surface Series, presented for the first time as a solo exhibition after the two-man show in 2010 at Gallery Ihn, transcends one-offness by continually transforming itself as not design but sculpture. His ouevre, a partition and transformation of a car's façade, profile or fragments, is unique in its grand volume of simple form.

Although his works do explicitly reveal the logos of Mercedes, BMW and Hyundai, his recent Surface Series has shifted to emphasizing its "abstractness," the simplicity of Informe that modern sculptors have been in pursuit of. It is indeed another transformation from the function and practicality of design to "abstract sculpture," a fundamental study of the object's form.  In particular, the latest Surface Series 2012 has rid itself of all design factors, including the car's logo, and instead focused on pure volume of form and chromatic effects.

Chung's concept of form is neither that of nature nor human body, but the abstract form of a streamline. His surface series that started out from car fragments now possesses its own aesthetic autonomy and organic relations, just like a completely independent organism. That is, the formative transformation like that of a growing organism, takes on an intended artificial beauty through its surface texture and various colors. 

It is as if the modern abstract sculptors' long sought simplified form of object and nature has been combined with design, and thus given new life. Indeed, his Surface Series is unique and different from the works of other abstract sculptors in that it starts from an artificial machine, the car, and plays with the materiality, form and colors of the virtual. This allows for a reading different from a Dadaist one of found objects and presentation. That is, as the product of Post-structuralism and not severance from the tradition of beauty, it can be read in the context of the playfulness and uniqueness of visual pleasure that the surface presents. 

Thus, as the formal traits of his recent Surface Series, the organic form of curves stands out, while the volume and color of its geometric structures are also noteworthy. Such transformation allows the art to break free of the function and ornamentation of design, and situate itself as an independent form. Furthermore, such de-materialization of industrial materials also brings life into the expansion of fields and crossing of boundaries in our art field. The various colors, formative transformation of the surface, and pursuit of spiritual values in materiality that can be witnessed in Chung's recent works allows one to rethink the significance of deconstruction that appeared in post-industrial aesthetics, not to mention providing momentum for further changes in future works.

The creative process: 
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